A Dog Person’s Dictionary

Angulation – Degree to which dog handlers will bend over backwards to impress the judge.

Balance – How to arrange the checkbook so your spouse won’t know how much money you spent on dog shows last month.  Usually done in the bathroom with the door locked.

Bitch –  [a] Name for a lady dog;  [b] Name often overheard at dog shows, not always to describe a lady dog.

Coat – The hairy covering of a dog that usually falls out about one week before the Specialty show.

Dam –  [a] – A lady dog with children. [b] – Expression frequently overheard at dog shows as losers leave the ring.

Elbow – Method of getting to ringside when late.

Expression – “Sweet” look adopted by dogs while staring ravenously at the chunks of liver.

Fancier – Degree to which some gentlemen handlers dress more than others.

Feathering – What winners are accused of doing to the judges’ nests.

Front – Part of the dog often stacked toward the outside of the ring.

Heel – [a] – What you feel like when your dog beats the one you just sold to an eager novice.  [b] – Expression often screamed to attract the attention of deaf dogs.

Height – As in “Minimum Allowed”;  a measurement which all champions exceed by AT LEAST a whole inch.

Hock – A way of financing your dog shows by the use of your jewelry such as your wedding ring.

Kennel – Where you go when the kids fight and your spouse yells at you.

Litter – Trash left all over the building and parking lot after a dog show.

Mask – What you wear when you have to show the pet you sold six months ago.

Muzzle – What you put on your kids at a dog show to prevent them from telling your competition what they heard you say about his dog yesterday.

Noseprints – Cute marks left all over your sliding doors.

Outcrossing – What your spouse tells the minister you are doing out in the kennel with a dog and a bitch.

Points – Minute, invisible awards for winning which you cannot convince your spouse are more important than cash prizes.

Puppies – Small dog-like food processing machines with the ability to stink up an entire house and collectively deafen a band of magpies  (These creatures have not yet been perfected,  as they come with leaky systems,  and they can be dangerous to weak hearts and bank accounts).